Eccentric folk singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart has announced the release of his 8th studio album, Mala, due out March 12 via Nonesuch Records. The hushed, groove-filled lead single, “FÃ¼r Hildegard von Bingen” is streaming at Pitchfork.
Named after Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th-century Catholic saint who was also a writer, composer and theologist, the track comes with its own bizarre backstory. Banhart says of the song: “In my head there was this little movie, an alternative universe, I guess — Hildegard is sequestered in her cloister, and one day she gets a VHS cassette and it’s the prime era of the MTV VJ, and she just goes wild. ‘That’s it for me,’ she says. ‘That’s how I’m going to get my message across.’ So she escapes the cloister…and becomes a VJ.”
The album, which marks Banhart’s first since 2009’s What Will We Be, was recorded in the musician’s Los Angeles home and co-produced by Noah Georgeson. It was inspired by Banhart’s fiancée, Ana Kras, a Serbian artist. The word “mala” is often used as a term of endearment in Eastern Europe. Keeping with the theme, Banhart painted the album artwork himself.
01. Golden Girls
03. FÃ¼r Hildegard von Bingen
04. Never Seen Such Good Things
05. Mi Negrita
06. Your Fine Petting Duck
07. The Ballad of Keenan Milton
08. A Gain
09. Won’t You Come Over?
11. Hatchet Wound
13. Won’t You Come Home